for clarinet in A, violin, cello and piano

Richard Whalley

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for clarinet in A, violin, cello and piano

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Composer Richard Whalley
Year of Composition 2006
Duration ca.20'
ISMN 9790570682355
Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-rw1f1


When the temperature drops below freezing everything is transformed. I find this fascinating.

The metaphor of freezing can be applied also be applied to time, and by analogy to music. It is a bit like freezing time when we use technology to study the structure of sound, and gain greater understanding about sound waves. But even before we had this technology, musicians understood that the harmonic series (consisting of sound waves vibrating in frequencies that are related by exact multiples) is fundamental to the way music works.

This piece exploits tension between the harmonic series (and intonation based on its pure intervals) and equal temperament tuning, based on division of the octave into 12 equal semitones. Harmonic series, mostly based on the open strings of the violin and cello, are the source of all the material found here.

There are three movements, each of which is much longer than the one before.

I will always be indebted to Guy Danel for inviting me to be a part of the Aram-Poitou Summer School, and inspired by his searching attitude to music. I hope I have captured some of his ideas about music in this piece, which is dedicated to him.